Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter
Vol. VI. No. 12.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. JULY 1, 1845 [Whole No. 120.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
The following is an extract of a letter to me, from Elder Phelps, dated
"Clay county, Mo, Dec. 15, 1833.
The situation of the saints, as scattered, is dubious, and affords a gloomy prospect. No regular order can be enforced; nor any usual discipline kept up: among the world, yea, the most wicked part of it, some commit one sin, and some another, (I speak of the rebellious, for there are saints that are as immoveable [immovable] as the everlasting hills,) and what can be done? We are in Clay, Rav [Ray], Lafayette, Jackson, Van Buren, &c, and cannot hear from each other oftener than we do from you. I know it was right that we should be driven out of the land of Zion, that the rebellious might be sent away. But, brethren, if the Lord will, I should like to know what the honest in heart shall do? Our clothes are worn out; we want the necessaries of life, and shall we lease, buy, or otherwise obtain land where we are, to till that we may raise enough to eat? Such is the common language of the honest for they want to do the will of God. I am sensible that we shall not be able to live again in Zion, till God or the President rules out the mob.
The Governor is willing to restore us, but as the constitution gives him no power to guard us when back, we are not willing to go. The mob swear if we come we shall die! If from what has been done in Zion, we, or the most of us, have got to be persecuted from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue, we want to know it: for there are those among us that would rather earn eternal life on such conditions, than loose it: but we hope for better things, and shall wait patiently for the word of the Lord.
Our people fare very well, and when they are discreet little or no persecution is felt. The militia in the upper counties is in readiness at a moments warning, having been ordered out by the Governor, to guard a court martial and court of enquiry [inquiry], &c., but we cannot attend a court of enquiry [inquiry], on account of the expense, till we are restored and protected.
(Signed) W. W. PHELPS."
I received the following
Revelation, given December 16, 1833.
Verily, I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out from the land of their inheritance, I the Lord have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted in consequence of their transgressions; yet, I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.
Therefore, they must needs be chastened, and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son; for all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified.
Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances. They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble. In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.
Verily, I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins my bowels are filled with compassion toward them: I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy. I have sworn, and the decree hath gone forth by a former commandment which I have given unto you, that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in the behalf of my people; and even as I have said, it shall come to pass.-Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations, and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full. And in that day, all who are found upon the watch tower, or in other words, all mine Israel shall be saved. And they that have been scattered shall be gathered: and all they who have mourned shall be comforted; and all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned. Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands: be still, and know that I am God. Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered, they that remain and are pure in heart shall return and come to their inheritances; they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy; to build up the waste places of Zion. And all these things, that the prophets might be fulfilled. And behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed for the work of the gathering of my saints, until the day cometh when there is found
no more room for them; and then I have other which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called stakes, for the curtains, or the strength of Zion.
Behold it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together and stand in holy places, and prepare for the revelation which is to come when the veil of the covering of my temple, in my tabernacle, which hideth the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see me together. And every corruptible thing, both of man, or of the beasts of the field, or of the fowls of heaven, or of the fish of the sea, that dwell upon all the face of the earth, shall be consumed; and also, that of element shall melt with fervent hear; and all things shall become new, that my knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth. And in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts; yea, the enmity of all flesh shall cease from before my face. And in that day whatsoever any man shall ask it shall be given unto him. And in that day satan shall not have power to tempt any man. And there shall be no sorrow because there is no death. In that day an infant shall not die until he is old, and his life shall be as the age of a tree, and when he dies he shall not sleep, (that is to say in the earth,) but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious. Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come he shall reveal all things; things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew; things of the earth by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof; things most precious, things that are in the earth and upon the earth, and in heaven.-And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake, yet shall they partake of all this glory. Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full. Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul, and ye shall have eternal life. When men are called unto mine everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the salt of the earth, and the savor of men. They are called to be the savor of men. Therefore, if that salt of the earth lose its savor behold it is thenceforth good for nothing, only to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. Behold, here is wisdom concerning the children of Zion; even many, but not all; they were found transgressors, therefore, they must needs be chastened. He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.
And now, I will show unto you a parable that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion: a certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants, go ye into my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive trees; and set watchmen round about them and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower; that mine olive trees may not be broken down, when the enemy shall come to spoil, and take unto themselves the fruit of my vineyard. Now the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them; and planted the olive trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build the tower. And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves, and what need hath my lord of this tower? and consulted for a long time, saying among themselves, what need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace? Might not this money be given to the exchangers? for there is no need of these things! And while they were at variance one with another, they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord: and the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge, and the servants of the nobleman arose, and were affrighted, and fled: and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive trees.
Now behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil? ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you? and after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you? and behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off: and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer. And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants, Go and gather together the residue of my servants: and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also, among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry; and go
ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard, for it is mine, I have bought it with money. Therefore get ye strightway [straightway] unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen: and inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies; that by and by, I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.
And the servant said unto his lord, when shall these things be? And he said unto his servant when I will: go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and this shall be my seal and blessing upon you; a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house: a ruler in my kingdom.
And his servant went straightway, and done all things whatsoever his lord commanded him, and after many days all things were fulfilled.
Again, verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the churches, inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation, that the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled. Therefore, I must gather together my people according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father, to reward every man according as his work shall be, while the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire. Therefore, a commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall continue to gather together unto the places which I have appointed; nevertheless, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, let not your gathering be in haste, nor by flight; but let all things, be prepared before you, and in order that all things be prepared before you, observe the commandments which I have given concerning these things, which saith, or teacheth, to purchase all the lands by money, which can be purchased for money, in the region round about the land which I have appointed to be the land of Zion, for the beginning of the gathering of my saints: all the land which can be purchased in Jackson county, and the counties round about, and leave the residue in mine hand.
Now verily I say unto you, let all the churches gather together all their moneys; let these things be done in their time, be not in haste; and observe to have all things prepared before you. And let honorable men be appointed, even wise men, and send them to purchase these lands; and every church in the eastern countries when they are built up, if they will hearken unto this counsel, they may buy lands and gather together upon them, and in this way they may establish Zion. There is even now already in store a sufficient; yea, even abundance to redeem Zion, and establish her waste places no more to be thrown down were the churches, who call themselves after my name willing to hearken to my voice. And, again I say unto you, those who have been scattered by their enemies, it is my will that they should continue to importune for redress, and redemption, by the hands of those who are placed as rulers, and are in authority over you, according to the laws and constitution of the people which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles, that every man may act in doctrine, and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto them that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.-Therefore it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.
Now, unto what shall I liken the children of Zion? I will liken them unto the parable of the woman and the unjust judge, (for men ought always to pray and not faint.) which saith, There was in a city a judge which feared no God, neither regarded man. And there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him saying avenge me of mine adversary.-And he would not for a while, but afterward he said within himself, though I fear not God, nor regard man, yet because this widow troubleth me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming, she weary me. Thus will I liken the children of Zion.
Let them importune at the feet of the judge; and if he heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the governor; and if the governor heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the president; and if the president heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation, and in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, will cut off these wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers; even in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing and gnashing of
teeth. Pray ye therefore, that their ears may be opened unto your cries, that I may be merciful unto them, that these things may not come upon them. What I have said unto you, must needs be, that all men may be left without excuse; that wise men and rulers may hear and know that which they have never considered; that I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work. That men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God.
And, again I say unto you, it is contrary to my commandment, and my will, that my servant Sidney Gilbert should sell my store-house, which I have appointed unto my people, into the hands of mine enemies. Let not that which I have appointed, be polluted by mine enemies, by the consent of those who call themselves after my name: for this is a very sore and grievous sin against me, and against my people, in consequence of those things which I have decreed, and are soon to befall the nations. Therefore, it is my will that my people should claim, and hold claim upon that which I have appointed unto them, though they should not be permitted to dwell thereon; nevertheless, I do not say they shall not dwell thereon; for inasmuch as they bring forth fruit and works meet for my kingdom, they shall dwell thereon; they shall build, and another shall not inherit it: they shall plant vineyards, and they shall eat the fruit thereof; even so. Amen.
December 18th. The elders assembled in the printing office, and bowed down before the Lord, and dedicated the printing press and all that pertained thereunto, to God, by mine own hand, which dedication was confirmed by Elder Rigdon, and my brother, Hyrum Smith-We then proceeded to take the first proof sheet of the "Star," edited by Elder Oliver Cowdery.
Blessed of the Lord is Brother Oliver, nevertheless there are two evils in him that he must needs forsake, or he cannot altogether forsake the buffetings of the adversary. If he forsake these evils he shall be forgiven, and shall be made like unto the bow, which the Lord hath set in the heavens; he shall be a sign and an ensign unto the nations.
Behold he is blessed of the Lord for his constancy and stedfastness [steadfastness] in the work of the Lord; wherefore, he shall be blessed in his generation and they shall never be cut off, and he shall be helped out of many troubles, and if he keep the commandments, and hearken unto the council of the Lord his rest shall be glorious.
And again, blessed of the Lord is my father and also my mother, and my brothers and my sisters, for they shall yet find redemption in the house of the Lord, and their offspring shall be a blessing, a joy, and a comfort unto them.
Blessed is my mother, for her soul is ever filled with benevolence and philanthropy, and notwithstanding her age, yet she shall receive strength, and shall be comforted in the midst of her house, and she shall have eternal life.
And blessed is my father, for the hand of the Lord will be over him for he shall see the affliction of his children pass away, and when his head is fully ripe, he shall behold himself as an olive tree, whose branches are bowed down with much fruit; he shall also possess a mansion on high.
Blessed of the Lord is my brother Hyrum, for the integrity of his heart, he shall be girt about with truth, and faithfulness shall be the strength of his loins: from generation to generation he shall be a shaft in the hand of his God to execute judgments upon his enemies, and he shall be hid by the hand of the Lord, that none of his secret parts shall be discovered unto his hurt; his name shall be accounted a blessing among men, and when he is in trouble and great tribulation hath come upon him, he shall remember the God of Jacob, and he shall shield him from the power of satan; and he shall receive counsel in the house of the Most High, that he may be strengthened in hope, that the goings of his feet may be established forever.
Blessed of the Lord is brother Samuel, because the Lord shall say unto him. Samuel, Samuel, therefore he shall be made a teacher in the house of the Lord, and the Lord shall mature his mind in judgment, and thereby he shall obtain the esteem and fellowship of his brethren; and his soul shall be established; and he shall benefit the house of the Lord, because he shall obtain an answer to prayer in his faithfulness.
Brother William is as the fierce lion, who divideth not the spoil because of his strength, and in the pride of his heart he will neglect the more weighty matters until his soul is bowed down in sorrow, and then he shall return and call on the name of his God and shall find forgiveness, and shall wax valiant, therefore, he shall be saved unto the uttermost; and as the roaring lion of the forest in the midst of his prey, so shall the hand of his generation be lifted up against those who are set on high, that fight against the God of Israel; fearless and undaunted shall they be in battle, in avenging the wrongs of the innocent, and relieving the oppressed; therefore, the blessings of the God of Jacob shall be in the midst of his house notwithstanding his rebellious heart.
And now, O God, let the residue of my father's house, ever come up in remembrance before thee, that thou mayest save them from the hand of the oppressor, and establish their feet upon the rock of ages, that they may have place in thy house; and be saved in thy kingdom, and let all things be even as I have said, for Christ's sake: Amen.
Minutes of a Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, held at Rowland O. Crispin's, Warren co. Ohio, on the 14th and 15th of June 1845, agreeable to adjournment from March Conference held in Fayette co. Ohio, on the 8th and 9th, 1845.
The meeting was called to order by Elder Joseph Grover at 11 o'clock A. M. Elder Joseph T. Ball was chosen to preside, and Rowland O. Crispin chosen Secretary.
The meeting opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Joseph Grover.
The president then addressed the meeting in a brief and affectionate manner, setting forth the object of the Conference.
A representation of the different branches was then called for.
Waynesville branch by Elder Braddock; thirty eight members, thirteen Elders and one Priest.
Pleasant Grove branch; seven members, one Elder and one Priest.
Clinton branch; thirty eight members, six Elders and one Priest.
Fayette branch, by Elder Boughn; twenty three members, one Elder one Priest & one Teacher.
Port Jefferson branch, by Elder Johnson; seven members and one Elder.
Dayton branch, by Elder Graves, eight members and five Elders.
A charge was preferred against Isham Webb, for leaving his family and unbelief. After some remarks he was cut off from the church by a unanimous vote.
A charge was preferred against Elder John Bair, for teaching things contrary to the Book of Covenants, inconsistent with virtue, which has destroyed the union of the saints, and prevented them paying their tything [tithing], entered by Azariah Haines, presiding elder of the Clinton branch, June 14th 1845.
It was moved and seconded that a council of Elders be held in his case, which was put to vote by the President and carried unanimously. They were to examine witnesses and report on Sabbath afternoon.
The President then addressed the saints on the necessity of gathering to Zion, in an affectionate manner. He was followed by Elder Grover.
Conference adjourned until 3 o'clock P. M.
Conference met agreeable to adjournment.
Opened with singing, and prayer by Elder Fallis.
The meeting was then addressed by the President on the latter-day dispensation.
Conference then adjourned until 10 o'clock on Sabbath A. M.
Conference met according to adjournment.
Opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Grover. He then addressed the meeting on the priesthood.
Conference adjourned until half past 1 o'clock.
Conference met according to adjournment.
Opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Boughn.
The meeting was addressed by Elder Grover on the Book of Mormon, after which the President introduced the case of Elder Bair, and stated to the Conference the resolution of the council of the Elders, which was motioned and seconded that he be disfellowshipped; which was put to vote by the President, and carried unanimously.
Elder Grover arose and returned his thanks to the saints for their kindness to him, and requested the voice of the district whether they wished his labors any longer or not. A vote was taken and they unanimously accorded with his teaching. He then blessed them in the name of the Lord.
The president then addressed the saints on the necessity of obeying council.
A vote was taken whether the saints would uphold the Twelve and the authorities of the church by their prayers, which was unanimous.
The President then pronounced his blessing on them in the name of Israel's God. He then dismissed the Conference without setting time for another.
By vote of the Conference, three new members were added, after Conference closed; two of them were children, only eight years of age.
JOSEPH T. BALL, President
Rowland O. Crispin, Secretary.
Nauvoo, July 15, 1845.
To the saints composing the Conference, held at Rowland O. Crispin's, Warren co. Ohio, 14th June 1845.
DEAR BRETHREN;-A copy of the minutes of your Conference has just been presented me, from which I learn that you have seen proper to withdraw from me the hand of fellowship.
I do not, at this time, feel to question the legality of your proceedings, or the righteousness of your decisions; my heart is too much pained, at having lost your esteem and confidence; though I do wish I had been present at your meeting, when those charges were preferred; not so much for the purpose of defending myself against my accusers; but to have preserved that confidence which I once held in your breasts, by confessing to you candidly my weaknesses, my imperfections, follies and deviations.
Had you heard the statement that I could have given you in relation to the difficulties, troubles and temptations, that I had to contend against, I am confident you would not have attributed any malicious or evil design to any part of my conduct, while among you; if you had, you certainly would have done me wrong, for I solemnly protest that my errors have arisen not from my heart, but from misunderstanding of principles. Had I the same understanding of principles and doctrine, then, that I now have, nothing could have arisen from my teachings, privately or publicly, contrary to your mind and feelings. I erred in receiving teachings from those that professed to know doctrine, yet knew nothing only as they were taught by the evil one.
I have now covenanted before the Lord that hereafter I will receive no doctrine except it comes from the proper source-the Twelve.
Brethren; I have labored a long time among you; I have stood by you with my life in my hand,-I have baptized many of you,-have looked npon [upon] you as my best and most endearing friends. You must allow me still to enjoy your friendship and your love, and confidence. If any of you have been injured or led astray by my teachings, publicly or privately, I now humbly ask your forgiveness, and I ask you all to forgive me and restore me to your friendship, and pray for me that I may overcome the adversary of souls and be saved with you in the kingdom of our God.
The church here, cannot act upon Br. Bair's case without all the testimony of the witnesses. We are rejoiced to see Br. Bair humble, and wish to receive the truth. We hope all the saints will feel to forgive him, for this is according to the Savior's words. If the branches of the churches abroad would examine the Doctrine and Covenants and act according to the law therein contained, they would never err relative to trying members of the different Quorums. Branches abroad may withdraw fellowship, but each Quorum holds the power to deal with its members for offences [offenses], to final judgment, by the aid of the bishop's Court or High Council.
From the New York Messenger.
ILION, HERKIMER CO., NEW YORK.
Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, convened at Ilion, German Flats, Herkimer county, on the 17th and 18th of May, 1845.
Conference met at 2 P. M., and organized by appointing Elder Eleazer Willes, President, and George England, Secretary.
Official members present-six Elders and one Priest.
Sung a hymn. Prayer by the President. Sung a hymn; after which a call was made for representation of branches.
Ilion branch represented by Elder England; eighteen members, three Elders and one Priest.
Milford Centre [Center], by Elder Chidester; four members and one Elder.
Village of Westford, by Elder Bacon; four members and two Elders.
Cherry Valley, by Elder Bacon; four members, three of the Utica branch, and one Elder.
After which Elder Bacon addressed the congregation from the 7th chapter of Paul to the Hebrews, 11th, 12th and 19th verses, setting forth the order of the priesthood, and the church going into the wilderness, or the general apostacy [apostasy] of the church of Christ, which he proved beyond contradiction, in an able and masterly manner.
Meeting adjourned to Br. England's at early candle light.
Met agreeable to adjournment. Opened by singing.
Prayer by Br. Chidester; after which he called upon the saints to bear witness to the truth of Mormonism.
The saints then arose one by one, and gave their testimony in favor of the truth; and said they would live by every word that proceeds from God, and would uphold and subject themselves to the counsel of the Twelve apostles of the Lamb of God. Some of the gifts were manifested, which caused us to rejoice in the kingdom of God. Unity and love prevailed.
Sung a hymn. Benediction by Elder Hewet.
Adjourned till Sunday morning 10 o'clock.
Met according to adjournment.
Sung a hymn. Prayer by Elder Theophilus Taylor. Sung another hymn.
Br. Wm. Segar represented the Utica branch on Sunday morning; twenty two members, two Elders and one Priest, in a scattered condition.
The President then addressed the congregation from the 24th of Acts 14th and 15th verses, setting forth and showing what was called heresy in these days followed by Elder Taylor at half past 11 till half past 12.
Adjourned till half past 1 P. M. Benediction by Elder Taylor.
Met agreeable to adjournment.
Sung a hymn. Prayer by Elder Bacon.
He then arose to address the congregation from the 28th chapter of Isaiah, 21st, 23d and 23d verses, showing that Isaiah had in view a great work to be commenced in as late a generation as the present, and that it had already commenced, which he proved in a very clear and lucid manner. Proving that this continent was the place for the setting up of the ensign to gather the dispersed of Judah, and assemble the outcasts of Israel followed by Elder England, who backed up the gospel with his testimony, and spoke in behalf of suffering innocence, and exhorted all those who had not embraced the gospel to do it immediately and by that means secure to themselves eternal life.
Br. Steele made some remarks, and gave his testimony to the truth of Mormonism, and said he knew it to be the work of God, and was acknowledged by signs following the believer.
The President then made some remarks to sign seekers, showing that if the sectarians preached the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, they are very much to blame to ask a sign from those that they say have the spirit of Belzebub [Beelzebub].
Br. Hewet gave his testimony in favor of the work of the last days.
Br. Chidester gave his testimony in behalf of the work of God in Mormonism, and left his testimony against all that would not learn the way of life, through prayer and faith to that God that gave his Son as a ransom for the world.
Br. Taylor bore testimony in favor of Mormonism, and exhorted all within the sound of his voice to search the truth as it is in the Lord Jesus.
Sung a hymn, and adjourned till early candle light, at Br. Burgdorff's.
Met at Br. Burgdorff's, sung a hymn. Prayer by Elder Bacon.
After which the sacrament was administered.
Br. Bacon exhorted the saints to faithfulness, unity and love to each other, and called on them to bear testimony.
Br. Taylor next exhorted the saints to unity, and spoke of the calamities that awaited the ungodly, and that Judah's fierce lion would arise from the thicket and destroy the nations that forget God.
Brother England next exhorted the saints to love and unity, and to prepare for our exit from among the Gentiles, and go to the beautiful city of Nauvoo. He thanked God that there was one woe which had never come upon the Mormons yet, after all their persecution. The Savior says Woe unto you when all men speak well of you. That is the woe; who is there that speaks well of the Mormons? They are very scarce, and if any one wishes to obey the gospel, they must expect to loose [lose] their good name if they have any. I have lived in this place three years, nnd [and] was respected by every one, but as soon as I came into the kingdom of God, then Satan began to rage, and sectarians foamed till they have run out lies till their Father shall help them no more.
Brother Steele made some remarks about signs. They said they would believe if they should hear him speak in tongues, and they have heard him speak in tongues several times and they are worse than ever.
Brother Chidester Gave his testimony to the truth.
Brother Hewit said he had been sick for several years, and the doctors had given him up, and said he could not live. But as soon as he heard the Mormons he believed and was administered unto, and his neighbors said if he got well they would believe also; and now I am as well as any man, and they won't believe yet, and I testify to every man that I was healed by the power of God, through the administration of one of his servants, a Mormon Elder.
Resolved that the minutes of this Conference be forwarded for publication in the Prophet.
The Conference adjourned, sine die.
ELEAZER WILLES, President.
George England, Secretary.
From the Millenial [Millennial] Star.
We have lately had the long -wished for pleasure of paying a visit to our brethren in the north; and we can truly say that though our journey was in part performed amid the rigours [rigors] of severe weather, yet we have been amply rewarded for every toil. We feel convinced of one fact, which is, that there is scarcely anything more confirmatory of the faith of the saints, than to travel and behold the effects of the principles of truth upon others. A feeling of this kind we fully realized on our visit to Scotland, where we beheld a people widely different in their national customs, habits, and
feelings from ourselves, yet under the influence of the gospel of Jesus Christ to which they had become obedient, we found them, as it were, one with ourselves; of one heart and of one mind in relation to the principles of eternal truth, and the glorious prospect that are opened out to the saints of God in the future.
On the 16th of March, we held a conference in the Odd Fellows' Hall, in the city of Glasgow, and notwithstanding the severity of the weather, our brethren and sisters flocked in from the country, crowding the hall with joyous and happy countenances, the recollection of which assembly will be long remembered by us. We found the conference in a most encouraging and prosperous condition, under the presidency of our beloved brother Peter McCue, and our prayer is that he may be long preserved in connexion [connection] with the honest-hearted by whom he is surrounded, to be instrumental in rolling onward the kingdom of God.
After separately visiting several of the branches in the Glasgow conference, where we had an opportunity of witnessing in an individual branch, the effect of the power of truth, confirmatory of what we had before realized as a whole, we proceeded on our journey to the ancient city of Stirling. Here we found but few saints, but sufficient to whisper to each heart, that we were not entirely in the land of strangers, but some of the great family of the redeemed of the Lord were there. With the city itself and the surrounding country we were greatly interested, each glance as it were bringing back the recollections of the stirring deeds of days of yore. May the saints that spring from such a soil, exhibit in connexion [connection] with the kingdom of God, a like heroism with that which has spread as it were a halo of glory over their sires.
From Stirling we took one of the steamers on the Forth, for Edinburgh, and though the weather was very unpropitious, it was impossible to destroy the effect of the romantic nature of the scenery by which we were surrounded. After a very severe passage, the storm continuing to increase in violence, we at length arrived at the capital of Scotland-the Athens of modern times. We need not say that our welcome was most hearty, and that we rejoiced much in meeting some of the saints of God in a city distinguished for its wisdom and learning. One Sunday, the 23rd of March, we met in conference, making what changes we considered necessary for the well-being of the whole, and appointed Elder John Banks, late of Preston, to preside over the Edinburgh conference. We anticipate a great work being accomplished there, and the true secret of success will be found in the union of the saints, upholding by faith and prayer those who have been set apart to the service of the Lord. May the spirit of the Lord rest upon the saints mightily in that great metropolis, that multitudes through their instrumentality may be born again into the kingdom of God.
With the best feeling of our hearts, bidding adieu for a season to the saints in Scotland, we have to express our regret that circumstances should have compelled us to leave so abruptly, but anticipate with much pleasure the time when we shall be able to renew our visit.
TIMES AND SEASONS
City of Nauvoo,
July 1, 1845.
WHAT IS TO BE.
As a matter of every day reflection, all people, good, bad and indifferent, are more concerned about what is to be than any thing else that appertains to life. This may be one reason why so much jealousy, hatred and persecution are manifested towards any man, men, or people, that profess to be guided by revelation.
Notwithstanding the word of the Lord, having out-lived all the speculation of the ancients and frustrated the philosophy of the moderns, shines like diamonds among the rubbish of six thousand years, to guide the way of human beings, still every age has its own blind leaders of the blind, and the result that has been, is now, and will be,-"both fall into the ditch."
We have said thus much for the consideration of the saints; if the world pays any regard to it, may God bless them accordingly. We profess to be governed by revelation and shall we, while fire, storm and vexation, trouble the world, be lulled to sleep in false security? Shall we calculate our warfare over, and our salvation safe when the war of elements hath hardly commenced? "He only is saved that continueth faithful to the end."
"Pray without ceasing," said an old apostle and so says a later one. The troubles to come are more grievous than what have been; so be ready.
Joseph Smith, our martyred prophet, left the following prophecy to be fulfilled:
"Verily, Verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face! Behold vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth; a day of wrath; a day of burning; a day of desolation;
of weeping; of mourning and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
And upon my house shall it begin; and from my house shall it go forth saith the Lord, First among those among you saith the Lord; who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house saith the Lord."
From the above it is evident that after the church suffers the world has to come in for its share of wo:-and now after fourteen years' suffering, who does not see the Lord begin to pour out a 'little vengeance' like a whirlwind?
Be faithful and patient, then saints, and He that said to the flood 'come,' and make an end of wickedness, will say also 'go,' to the elements, and sweep the earth with the besom of destruction till it is fit for Paradise again, and then my people shall inherit the kingdom.-Watch and pray.
FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY.
There is something so cheering and grand, to the friends of Revelation, when a prediction or prophecy, is fulfilled, that they hardly know how to express their gratitude to him that hath brought it to pass in its time. Our Savior said, (speaking of Jerusalem:) "And when ye shall know that the desolation thereof is nigh. * * For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. * * And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles almost 1800 years. But there were other prophetic sayings about Jerusalem, which, while they help substantiate revelation, help silence spiritualizing the scriptures and crown Mormonism with the glory of promulgating the truth. Out of many passages, we will only select one, yet future, leaving men to reflect upon the idea that old men and women, and girls and boys, shall yet grace the streets of Jerusalem: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first born." Looking at him whom they had pierced must mean Christ coming the second time.
The following has strange symptoms of bringing to pass the old prophets and what Jesus said too.
BY THE EDITOR OF THE SAVANNAH REPUBLICAN.
Modern Jerusalem is a staunch, strongly built city. The walls of the houses ore [are] most substantial, and are built of very compact limestone, which is mostly of a light or dark cream color. It has an appearance of great solidity, which is increased by the flying buttresses which every where spring over the streets. An earthquake that would demolish a portion of the town, would be apt to involve the whole of it in ruin-so compactly is it built together. The streets are filthy, and nowhere have I met with so many wretched deformed beggars-so many blind helpless beings-asking alms from early dawn till set of sun. The exterior of the houses towards the streets is most forbidding, looking jail like and gloomy, but entering the Courts, you see more cheerfulness, and some of the terraces have a very commanding look out. Domes appear every where. They rise above the principal rooms of all houses. There is no wood to construct roofs of, and thus the ceilings of the rooms are pleasingly vaulted. In no one thing are the accounts of travellers [travelers] so discrepant as to the modern town. Some writers draw of it a peerless picture, and others paint it in the most gloomy colors. Some, perhaps, have been there in the rainy, others in the bright season-as in most cases the truth seems to be about half way between the two extremes. It is neither so good nor so bad as it has been drawn, but it is a very respectable town, far better than most others in the East. The modern town does not cover the whole site of the ancient one. Mount Zion itself, on the South side, is without the present wall. On the North, or more directly on the North west side of the city, the old limit must have been a mile beyond the present one. The whole ground is cavernous cisterns-themselves probably more recent than those of the town taken by the Roman Legions. Excepting on a part of the North west side, the limits of the ancient city are well defined. The mountains are still 'round about Jerusalem,' and the features of the scenery are all bold and grand. On three sides, the precipitous steeps of the valley impose boundaries beyond which no buildings could ever have passed.
It is said and is doubtless true, that the wall supporting Solomon's temple, on the side of the Valley of Jehoshaphat, was 450 feet high. On the West, or naturally the weakest side, the tenth Roman Legion was encamped. The present
walls are well built and battlemented; but they have neither ditches, counterscarp walls nor other exterior defences [defenses]. They are modern, but worthy to bfilong [belong] to an age when gun powder was unknown, for they cannot stand two days against breaching batteries. The town has now a garrison of about fifteen hundred lubberly Turkish soldiers, and could be taken by escalade in ten minutes, against all the resistance the garrison could offer.
The environs of Jerusalem are very striking. They form one vast necropolis-the very rock being perforated in all directions with tombs, which being near the bottom of the valley of Jehoshaphat, Kedron. Gihon, and Hinnor-These valleys, together with the Western Wall, form a circuit of two miles and a half-the whole circumference of the ancient town being, according to Josephus, rather more than four miles.
Delivered by President B. Young, in the City of Joseph, April 6th 1845.
I hope there may be faith enough in this congregation of Saints to still the wind, and strengthen me so that I may be heard by all of this vast assemblage of people: and in order that my voice may extend, and be heard by all it will be necessary for the brethren and sisters to be quiet as possible, and I will do my best to speak that you may hear and understand.
We shall devote this day to preaching-exhortation-singing-praying and blessing children, (such as have not been blessed,) and all those who have not been able to come to meeting: such women may be, who have not had their children blessed, and have the privilege this afternoon.
Last Sunday I proposed to the Saints, to speak to day on the snbject [subject] of the baptism for the dead in connexion [connection] with other items, that the Saints may be satisfied-that all doubt and darkness may be removed with regard to certain principles of the doctrine of redemption.
But before I undertake to explain or give correct views upon this important subject, I would say to all those who are satisfied with all the knowledge they have, and want no more: to you I do not expect to be an apostle this day; but for those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, I pray, that they may be filled and satisfied with the intelligence of God, even his glory.
What I have stated in the winter past relative to the baptism for the dead, has been matter of discussion among the elders, and among the brethren and sisters in general, but I will endeavor to show to this congregation of Saints the propriety of it; and that the people could not run at hap-hazard, and without order to attend to this ordinance and at the same time it be valid, and recognized in heaven.
We are building a house at present unto the Lord in the which we expect to attend to the fulfillment [fulfillment] of this doctrine: you all believe that this is a doctrine revealed by God to his servant Joseph. Admitting this to be the fact, that he has revealed through him a plan by which we may bring to life the dead, and bless them with a great and glorious exaltation in the presence of the Almighty with ourselves; still we want to know how to do these things right; to do them in a manner that shall be acceptable to the Almighty, if otherwise he will say unto us at the last day, "ye have not known me right, because of your slothfulness and your wickedness depart from me for I know you not." O ye Latter-day Saints! I don't want one of you to be caught in that snare, but that you may do things right and thus be enabled to make your calling and election sure. I might say the plan of salvation is perfect of itself-it is a system that can save, redeem, honor and glorify all who are willing to apply themselves to it according to the pattern-it is a plan of salvation to all men both male and female; it has been handed down, and known from the days of Adam, and those who will open their eyes to see, their ears to hear, and their hearts to understand, they will acknowledge at once that it is a perfect system; but those whose eyes, ears and hearts are shut up by incorrect tradition and prejudice, they acknowledge by their lives, by their practices, by their walk an conversation, and by their actions in general, that they do not understand it, yet they plead the atonement, and say we believe the atonement is sufficient for all-only believe and he will save you; yet at the same time the bible, reason, common sense and every other righteous principle positively testifies that there must be means made use of to put you in possession of the blessings of the atonement, as well as any other blessing.
I believe the plan of salvation is comeatable, and may be understood and the inhabitants of the world who will come to God can be made acquainted with all the ordinances and blessings by which they may know how to save themselves and their friends, as we know how to build a house, or as the mechanic knows how to make any piece of mechanism; but mechanism is not to be compared with the perfection of the machine of salvation or with the beauty of the plan of redemption: it is the most perfect system of any other creature under heaven.
The gospel is adapted to the capacity of all the human family, whether they be high or low, rich or poor, bond or free, black or white, young or old, it is adapted to their capacities, all can understand and be saved: no comparison of its purity can be made; you may investigate the laws of nations, and gather together all the laws of the kingdoms of this world, and make a selection of the best part of the purest principles of the laws of justice and equity, and they would not compare, nor would there be any resemblance to the purity of the laws of heaven. He who gives that law is perfect, and reduces it to the capacity of finite beings in order that they may understand it and then receive more: thus the infinite being gives line upon line, reveals principle after principle, and the mind of the finite being expands, and when he has learned all his life he will then begin to see, that he has not yet entered upon the threshold of the eternal things that are to be gained by the children of men. I have now about got through with my preliminaries, and shall occupy your attention with some items in relation to the doctrine of the baptism for the dead.
I do not say that you have not been taught and learned the principle; you have heard it taught from this stand from time to time, by many of the elders, and from the mouth of your beloved and martyred prophet Joseph; therefore my course will not be to prove the doctrine, but refer to those things against which your minds are revolting. Consequently I would say to this vast congregation of Saints, when we enter into the Temple of God to receive our washings, our anointings, our endowments and baptisms for the saving of ourselves, and for the saving of our dead: that you never will see a man go forth to be baptized for a woman, nor a woman for a man. If your minds should be in any dubiety with regard to this, call to mind a principle already advanced, that when an infinite being gives a law to his finite creatures, he has to descend to the capacity of those who receive his law, when the doctrine of baptism for the dead was first given, this church was in its infancy, and was not capable of receiving all the knowledge of God in its highest degree; this you all believe. I would keep this one thing in your minds, and that is, that there is none, no not one of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, that ever received the fullness of the celestial law at the first of the Lord's commencing to reveal it unto them.
The doctrine of baptism for the dead you have been taught for some time, and the first account that I heard of it was while I was in England; it was there I got the glad tidings that the living could go forth and be baptised [baptized] for those who had fallen asleep. This doctrine I believed before anything was said or done about it in this church; it made me glad when I heard it was revealed through his servant Joseph, and that I could go forth, and officiate for my fathers, for my mothers, and for my ancestors, to the latest generation who have not had the privilege of helping themselves; that they can yet arise to the state of glory and exaltation as we that live, have a privilege of rising to ourselves. The next year I came home and requested Brother Joseph to preach upon the subject, which he did, I also heard many of the elders preach upon the same subject.
There has been many things said, and notions imbibed concerning this doctrine. Allow me to advance an idea, and it is this; except we attend to this ordinance according to the law of heaven in all things it will not be valid or be of any benefit either to the living or the dead; when it was first revealed all the order of it was not made known, afterwards it was made known, that records, clerks, and one or two witnesses were necessary or else it will be of no value to the saints.
The Lord has led this people all the while in this way, by giving them here a little and there a little, thus he increases their wisdom, and he that receives a little and is thankful for that shall receive more and more, and more even to the fullness of the eternal Godhead: there is no stopping place, but the weak capacity of man cannot understand it unless the spirit of the eternal God is in their hearts, and then they can comprehend but a little of it. In this is the glory, power, and excellency of the gospel of the Son of God to poor weak finite man.-Look, O ye Latter-day Saints, at the nations of the earth, Christendom, look at them; but look at ourselves (although we have received a great deal) yet who is there here that has seen Jesus Christ, that have beheld angels, that have conversed with the spirits of just men made perfect, and the assembly of the church of Enoch, and with God the judge of all? who is there here that has been caught up to the third heavens and gazed upon the order and glory of the celestial world? dont [don't] you see brethren we have yet a great deal to learn, but is it not our privilege to be filled with all the fullness of Godliness? (cries of yes.) When you receive all that is for you, you will say O the blindness of Christendom! O the ignorance of the world!! even the Latter-day Saints that have assembled themselves together at the April conference in the year eighteen hundred and forty-five, will say, what am I?
Joseph in his life time did not receive every thing connected with the doctrine of redemption, but he has left the key with those who understand how to obtain and teach to this great people all that is necessary for their salvation and exaltation in the celestial kingdom of our God. We have got to learn how to be faithful with the few things, you know the promise is, if we are faithful in a few things we shall be made rulers over many things. If we improve upon the small things, greater will be given unto us.
I have said that a man cannot be baptized for a woman, nor a woman for a man, and it be valid. I have not used any argument as yet; I want now to use an argument upon this subject, it is a very short one; and I will do it by asking this congregation, if God would call a person to commence a thing that would not have power and ability to carry it out? Would he do it? (no.) Well then, what has been our course on former occasions? Why, here goes our beloved sisters, and they are baptised [baptized] in the river or in the fount for their uncles, for their fathers, for their grandfathers and great grandfathers.
Well, now I will take you and confirm you for your uncles, for your fathers, for your grandfathers, and let you go; after a while here comes our beloved sisters, saying. I want to be ordained for my uncle, and for my grandfather, and great grand-father; I want my father ordained to the high priesthood, and my grandfather, I want to be patriarch, and you may ordain me a prophet for my uncle! What would you think about all that, sisters, come now you have been baptised [baptized] and confirmed for your father, wont you be ordained for him? You could cast on a stocking and finish it.-You could take wool and card and spin it and make it into cloth, and then make it into garments. A person that commences a work and has not ability and power to finish it, only leaves the unfinished remains as a monument of folly. We will not commence a work we cannot finish: but let us hearken to the voice of the spirit and give heed to his teachings and we will make ourselves perfect in all things.
I would now call your attention to some of the saying of the apostle Paul. I hope you will not stumble at them. Paul says, "nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman. neither the woman without the man, in the Lord, for as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the women, but all things of God." The same Apostle also says, "The woman is the glory of the man." Now brethren, these are Paul's sayings, not Joseph Smith's spiritual wife system sayings.
And I would say, as no man can be perfect without the woman, so no woman can be perfect without a man to lead her, I tell you the truth as it is in the bosom of eternity; and I say so to every man upon the face of the earth; if he wishes to be saved he cannot be saved without a woman by his side. This is spiritual wifeism, that is, the doctrine of spiritual wives.
Lest these my sisters should think I give power into the hands of their husbands to abuse them, I would say there is no man has right to govern his wife and family unless he does it after the order of the church of Christ, unless he does it upon this principle he need not expect to receive a celestial glory. He that does not govern as Jesus governs his church, breaks his bonds and solemn obligations to his family.
Now ye elders of Israel will you go and beat your wives? will you neglect and abuse them? You may ask, is that anything about being baptised [baptized] for the dead, or the laws of the celestial kingdom?
With regard to the laws of the celestial kingdom, I say it always was, and is, and always will be, a system of beauty and order. When the angel visited Cornelius, and commanded him to send men to Joppa for Peter, who should tell him words whereby he and his house should be saved. Would it not have saved a good deal of trouble if the angel had told these words to Cornelius? It certainly would, but it was not the angel's privilege, it remained for Peter to do, because it was Peter's calling; it was Peter's duty. In this case we see the principle of order. Again, in the case of the Savior, did he offer to baptise [baptize] Paul? No, he had to go to Damascus, to a certain street, in order to find Ananias, who administered to him. Thus you see the angel honored Peter, the Savior honored Ananias by permitting them to attend to the calling they and received power to act in. So let fathers honor their families, husbands honor your wives, honor your children that they may learn to honor you; and if you come and are baptised [baptized] for the father of your wife, and you want you mother baptised [baptized] for, let you wife do it; give honor to her.-Ananias had the glory and honor of ordaining Paul and sending him to preach. Christ had done his work, and then gave honor and glory to his servants; when the elders have done their work, let them give their wives honor, and let them say to them, come be baptised [baptized] for my mother, and for my sister, and save them, and I will preside over the whole of you.
Thus let every person stand in their own order, and do that which belongs to them to do, that there may be no confusion, but let order and beauty be the characteristics of this people.
I used to think that the sectarian world would certainly get to heaven for they tried hard enough. And we boys would frequently wish ourselves in heaven with our backs broke that we could not get out again. The sectarian world is just like that, they are scrambling up in the greatest confusion, saying to each other, I hope you will get to heaven, and may your back be broke that you cannot get out again. The sectarian world is just like that, they are scrambling up in the greatest confusion, saying to each other, I hope you will get to heaven, and may your back be broke that you cannot get out again, and that is all they know about it.
The religion of heaven teaches us to give every man and every woman their due, that rightly belongs to them. And he that walks up to his privilege and duty, he has honor and glory, and shall never be removed out of his place.
I have shown other brethren and sisters that Brother Joseph did not tell them all things at once, consequently you may expect to hear and see many things you never thought of before. One thing is that we have taken down the wooden fount that was built up by the instructions of Brother Joseph. This has been a great wonder to some, and says one of the stone-cutters the other day, "I wonder why Joseph did not tell us the fount should be built of stone." The man that made that speech is walking in darkness. He is a stranger to the spirit of this work, and knows nothing. In fact he does not know enough to cut a stone for the house of God. There is not a man under the face of the heavens that has one particle of the spirit about him, but knows that God talks to men according to their circumstances. God knew that old Abraham could not build a temple, therefore he said unto him, go to the mountain I shall tell thee of, and there offer up you sacrifice. He tells us to build an house here in this place, according to our means. And when we get a little more strength, he will say, go now and execute your means upon the next house we have got to build, and it is just to stretch our faith until it shall become exceeding great, that we can command the elements and they will obey. And when we get into Jackson county to walk in the courts of that house, we can say we built this temple for as the Lord lives we will build up Jackson county in this generation, (cries of amen,) and we will be far better off with regard to temporal things, when we have done, than ever we were before. If we had the means to build a fount in that house, say one of marble, the Lord would just as like as not tell us to cover it with gold just to stretch our faith. Brother Joseph said to me with regard to the fount, "I will not go into the river to be baptised [baptized] for my friends, we will build a wooden fount to serve the present necessity; brethren does that satisfy you? This fount has caused the Gentile world to wonder but a sight of the next one will make a Gentile faint away. This brings to my memory a circumstance that transpired in the temple at Kirtland. A very pious lady came to see the temple, she walked up and down in the house, with her hands locked together, and after the escape of one or two of the sectarians most sanctified groans, she exclaimed, "The Lord does not like such extravagance." Poor thing, I wonder how she will walk upon the streets when they are paved with gold; she could not bear to see the temple of God adorned and beautified, and the reason was because she was full of the devil.
I would put you on your guard against those who wear a long face, and pretend to be so holy, and so much better than every body else-They cannot look pleasant because they are full of the devil. Those who have got the forgiveness of their sins have countenances that look bright, and they will shine with the intelligence of heaven. If you dont [don't] believe it, try yourselves and then look up into the glass.
We will have a fount that will not stink and keep us all the while cleansing it out: and we will have a pool wherein to baptise [baptize] the sick, that they may recover. And when we get into the fount we will show you the priesthood and the power of it: therefore, let us be diligent in observing all the commandments of God. Put away all fears of mobs, let not these things trouble you, for I say to the people I believe myself we shall have a healthy season, and that we shall have a summer of peace.-The devils will growl without, and if they could get in here they would growl, but if they do they must look out. And I dare venture to say, that there could not be found as healthy a looking congregation in all the United States as I see here this day.
Brethren and sisters, for the sake of your dead and for the sake of yourselves, be faithful and have no feelings in your hearts against one another, but learn to suffer wrong rather than do wrong, and by so doing we will outstrip all our enemies and conquer the evil one, for know ye not that there is Zion? know ye not that the millennium has commenced? We have had Zion upon the earth this fourteen years. Peace reigns among this people which is Zion. Union and true charity dwells with this people: this is the most orderly and peaceable people upon the face of the whole earth. Well, this is Zion, and it is increasing and spreading wider and wider, and this principle of Zion, which is peace, will stretch all over the earth; that is the millennium.
The saints will increase, and continue to increase, and virtue, love, holiness, and good
principles, will continue to spread and spread and will rule the nations of the earth, and who is there that can stop its progress? None, but it will roll until there is no room for the evil; then he will be bound and shut up. The principles of the kingdom of God will prevail, from city to city, from nation to nation, until the devil shall be bound and there is no place for him. They killed the prophet Joseph for fear he would spread this principle but it will go and fill the whole earth; this is true and will come to pass as the Lord lives. Amen.
For the Times and Seasons.
REMISSION OF SINS.
Sin is the transgression of law; and remission of sins pre-supposes the satisfaction of justice, in some way, of the law that was transgressed, for the justification of the criminal; for justice is the standard of action in all just law, and no action can vary its claims without law, and no action can vary its claims without violating the force and dignity of that law; and if this is done, it is worse than no law. The justice of a just law, claims the protection of all good subjects; and the infliction of the penalty of every transgression; and without this, justice is not satisfied. If a man sins against a just law, he can never in justice, again enjoy the approbation of that law, short of ample atonement, either directly or indirectly. If he makes his own atonement, justice is thereby satisfied; and it leaves nothing in the mind of the executive, or, one who enforces the law, that savors of forgiveness, and if he receives the approbation of the law, it is because justice claims it: but if another makes the atonement, he then obtains remission by the satisfaction of justice, to be sure in the infliction of the penalty, but unto him it is an extension of mercy, and the forgiveness originating in the mind of the executive, is because the atonement made in behalf of the criminal shall be considered a sufficient one to cancel the crime, or answer the penalty of the law; and he receives the approbation of the law, not because he has merited it, but because mercy has opened the way for the remission of his sin, by the satisfaction of the claims of justice in the infliction of the penalty in his behalf.
Such is the character of all just law, (and that too of necessity) that if there be no atonement for sin, nor infliction of the penalty for transgression, there can be no remission nor approbation of the law that was transgressed.-This principle exists because of the accountability that all subjects sustain to the law by which they are governed. Mankind are accountable to God, if at any time he has given them a law, or commandments by which they should be governed; and that it has been done we are willing to believe. The Lord God commanded Adam, the first man, saying: "Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." All men are made partakers of this penalty, not be actual sin, but by nature, being natural heirs of him who did transgress, and also partakers of condemnation and banishment, and all the effects of the fall, like as Adam was; and according to the natural course of justice in the infliction of the penalty upon Adam as transgressor, and upon us as legitimate sufferers with him, there could be no hope in our case: for Adam, in eating of the forbidden fruit, subjected himself to the influence and power of death; and death naturally brings darkness and corruption brings dissolution; and there is nothing in death to re-organize, nor to bring to light; and hence, this penalty is naturally of eternal duration, and man is naturally unable to fulfil [fulfill] it short of eternal subjection. Thus the justice of this law is naturally of sufficient force to hold us in subjection to the powers of death until the penalty is suffered by us, or an atonement made for the remission of the sin of the transgression thereof. But if the penalty is cancelled [canceled] by an atonement made for us, it must be by some being of better character and capacity, otherwise he would have to suffer as long as we, and the desired remission could not be effected at last. If we receive this as a true doctrine of the natural state of mankind in consequence of the fall, we are bound by every consideration of benevolence, love and mercy, to be grateful if there is a door opened for our redemption. the scriptures hold out the encouragement that there is an atonement made in our behalf of sufficient merit to answer the claims of justice, [and reconcile God to us,*] so that we are no longer under condemnation for original sin; and so that we shall be made free from the penalty of the fall, as it is written, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order."
Jesus Christ was a suitable being and able to make this atonement in our behalf, and satisfy the claims of justice, because, Firstly, he was the first begotten and best beloved of the Father. [See Heb. 1:6 and Mat. 3:17.]
Secondly, he was able to comprehend the penalty without suffering eternally. [Is. 9:6. Ps. 16:10. and Luke 22:39 & c.]
And Thirdly, he was without sin, and justice had no claim upon him that he should suffer,
only as he took it upon himself to suffer for us. [Is. 53 chap.] And the whole was an act of mercy against justice for the remission of our sins, or that we should not be forever subject to the vengeance of a broken law; and also, that we might be placed upon the ground of exaltation and eternal life, according to the first purpose of God in the creation of man: for the atonement of Jesus Christ hath secured unto mankind much good; and this one thing it hath secured particularly; even the forgiveness of sins by the shedding of blood; as it is written, "And he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it unto them, saying drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins"-[Mat.26:28.]
Again, "For behold I say unto you,* * * * when ye partake of the sacrament, do it with an eye single to my glory; remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of sins."-[Book of Doc. and Cov. Sec 50]
Some may object to this position, because the apostle Peter told certain believing Jews to be baptised [baptized] for the remission of sins; or at least it is so on record. If this proves anything, it proves too much for an objection, for the scriptures also say, that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed for the remission of our sins, and if this is the only necessity of baptism, one or the other must be superfluous. But if we will dip a little deeper into the fountain of truth, and search still further into the character of the fall, and the merits of the atonement, we shall find that notwithstanding we are no longer counted sinners because of Adam's transgression, yet, there is a curse left upon the earth, for man's sake, and God's preparing salvation for us by the atonement does not reconcile us to him without law; for we are prone to sin by nature, being still under the power of the devil according to the character of the curse, and would forever have remained so, but the atonement brought in a law of restoration, by which we may subject our carnal nature, and again become heirs of the kingdom of God if we will: and that law is the gospel, and baptism is an ordinance therein for what? Why, for birth and regeneration, as it is written, "Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
Again, the Book of Cov., speaking of baptism, says, "Wherefore, enter ye in at the strait gate," &c. [Sec. 41. (see also 1 Pet.)] It is a door of entrance into the kingdom of God. But the apostle said, "Be baptized for the remission of sins." [See also Book of Cov. (old edition Sec. 65]. Now the first definition of the word "for," is "because of." Put this construction upon the quotation, and it would read, Be baptized because of the remission of sins. This would agree with the general face of the scriptures, and with the plan of salvation, for, if there had been no atonement, original sin could not have been remitted, neither would the gospel have been given, and we because of sin could never have been saved; but now, because of the remission of sins, by the shedding of blood; we have the privilege of water baptism as an ordinance of initiation into the kingdom of God; and this together with the other gospel ordinances, will secure to us legitimate claim upon celestial inheritance. But if this argument does not suit, there are others. Mankind are by nature aliens from God, and will be until in all cases, the gospel is had in exercise for their restoration; and every one hearing the gespel [gospel], is under condemnation if he will not obey it; and unto such the atonement is no longer meritorious because of actual sin against a greater law, as it is written, "He that believeth on him (Christ) is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." [Jno. 3:18] And like as though there had been no atonement, and not only so, but worse; they are subject not only to death, but to the power of the second death:-"where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
Hence baptism is, in a certain sense, for the remission of sins, or rather, it is a means by which we may escape condemnation. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." But according to the words of Christ, and the character of the gospel, baptism has more properly the birth and regeneration of alienated man into the kingdom of God as its object, and the remission of sins is granted unto mankind because of the atonement made by the shedding of blood, "and without shedding of blood is no remission." [Heb. 9:22]
V. H. BRUCE
City of Joseph, July 1845.
*Properly "reconciled us to God."
ANOTHER WITNESS FOR MORMONISM.
It certainly is a great consolation to the Latter-Day Saints, to see the unravelment of all things come forth and prove the Book of Mormon. some people may query because there are Roman figures and Roman letters. There never were any other figures used in the word: they belonged to the 'pure languge [language].' As to the
Roman letters, no one knows their age: they are as old as the Etheopic, Celtic, or Greek, for each have some of those letters in it, and who knows when they were first invented? The work goes on; and so to the story:
ANOTHER MAMMOTH CAVE.
A very remarkable cave, recently discovered in Missouri, is thus described by the Boonville (Mo.) Statesman. We fear the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, will have to look out for its laurels. Neighbor Bullitt of the Picayune, what have you to say in the premises?
A most extraordinary cave was recently discovered in Howard county, between Glasgow and Cooper's bottom. One of the farmers of the neighborhood, wanting rock to build, we believe, a chimney, went to an adjacent hill-side for the purpose of quarrying there. In striking the earth with a hoe or some similar implement, a sound was emitted plainly indicating that the hill-side was hallow beneath, and proceeding to remove the dirt covering the surface, he discovered a wall built of stone, and built evidently by human hands. This wall he displaced, and it gave him entrance to the mouth of a cave, which, upon subsequent examination, he found a most extraordinary natural curiosity. The cave has been explored to the distance of 300 yards. Twenty-five or thirty yards from the entrance is a sort of room, the sides of which, according to an account in the 'Glasgow Pilot,' present a most brilliant and wonderful appearance. The writer, who entered the cave with a lantern says:
"I had not proceeded far, before I entered the principal chamber that by a single light presented the most magnificent scene that I ever beheld. The ceiling of the most splendid cavern is some eighteen or twenty feet high, and of a hectagon form, the whole ceiling presenting a shiny surface as though it was set with diamonds."
Very near the mouth, another writer says, there is a stone shaped like a horse, but not so large, being only about three feet high.
"The head, neck and the body are entirely finished, and part of one hind leg and all the rest is solid stone. The neck is made of three pieces, and stuck or fastened together something like cabinet makers put the corners of drawers together, (dovetailed,) the rest is all solid."
In another part of the cave the walls on one side are very smooth. On these walls numerous letters, figures and hieroglyphics appear, most of which, however, are so defaced as to render them unintelligible. Nevertheless the figures 1, 2, 5, and 7 are quite plain. Just above these figures the letter D O N and C A R L O are legible. Further on, the letters J. H. S. appear on the wall. An arm of the main cavern has also been discovered, and has been explored some two hundred yards. A writer says:
The walls and ceiling of this extraordinary cave are pretty much the same as in the other rooms. The walls have a peculiar and extraordinary brilliancy, occasioned, I discovered, from the fact that instead of stone as we first believed, we found them to be of a metal, very much resembling sulphate [sulfate] of iron but of a silvery appearance. We had not proceeded very far before we heard a rumbling noise that occasionally broke upon our ears in notes the most thrilling and melodious I ever heard. We stood for a considerable time in breathless silence to catch the most enchanting sounds that ever greeted the ear of man, and it was only at an interval that we could summon courage enough to explore its source, which we did, and were much surprised to find it proceeded form a gushing spring in the side of the wall. The sounds we heard we found to be produced by the fall of water, and varied by the current of air before alluded to, which we then found to be very strong. We each took a hearty draught of the limped water of this gushing spring, and, after surveying the diamond walls of the greatest natural curiosity in the world, we commenced retracing our steps to its mouth, when we found it to be quite dark and eight o'clock at night.
THE TIMES AND SEASONS, Is Printed and Published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Main and Kimball Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOHN TAYLOR, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
TERMS.-Two Dollars per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to John Taylor, editor, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter